PARI to implement NC program dedicated to involving girls in science, interest meeting scheduled

The full release from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute:

The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) has been selected to implement the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) in North Carolina. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program will provide five years of grants, professional development and other resources to individuals and groups in North Carolina who are advancing the involvement of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). A community informational meeting is scheduled March 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the PARI campus. This event will be the first of many to help educators encourage girls to pursue careers in these fields.

“We are inviting all interested program managers, guidance counselors, business partners, technical professionals, teachers and representatives from professional organizations and higher education to join us March 23,” said PARI Education Director Christi Whitworth, who will direct the NC initiative. “The National Girls Collaborative Project currently serves 38 states and has been immensely successful, facilitating collaboration among more than 12,800 organizations serving more than five million girls. The effort is now being extended to North Carolina and at our informational meeting we will provide information about the Collaborative and ways local and statewide groups can become involved.” Amy Foster, National Program Manager, said the NGCP’s mission is to involve girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and encourage them to pursue careers in STEM disciplines.

“We do this,” Foster said, “ by working with existing and evolving girl-serving projects to share resources and disseminate research-based exemplary practices. Specifically, we work to strengthen the capacity of programs to effectively reach and serve girls, we provide professional development and mini-grants. We are also working to maximize K-12 school counselors’ access and use of relevant, high-quality resources.” PARI was chosen to implement the North Carolina initiative, she said, “because PARI has a long and innovative track record with programs that help encourage girls to become involved in science. PARI also has the staff and resources to be of maximum assistance to groups and individuals throughout the state.” North Carolina groups and individuals who want to learn more about the NGCP can contact Christi Whitworth (828-877-6348 or cwhitworth@pari.edu) or Amy
Foster (afoster@edlabgroup.org). Event registration information is online at http://www.ngcproject.org/events/events.cfm?eventid=237.

Additional information is available at http://www.ngcproject.org. Dinner will be provided for participants at 6:30 p.m., followed by a PARI campus tour and a planetarium or observing session utilizing PARI telescopes.
About PARI
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a public not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) foundation established in 1998. Located in the Pisgah Forest 30 miles southwest of Asheville, NC, the PARI campus is a dark sky location for astronomy and was selected in 1962 by NASA as the site for one of the first U.S. satellite tracking facilities. Today, the 200 acre campus houses radio and optical telescopes, earth science instruments, 30 buildings, a fulltime staff and all the infrastructure necessary to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and research. PARI offers educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research. The institute is a member of the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, a partner in NC OPT-ED and is affiliated with the 16-campus University of North Carolina system through PARSEC, a UNC Center hosted at PARI. For more information about PARI and its programs, visit www.pari.edu. Follow PARI on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Astronomy_PARI. “Like” PARI on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Pisgah.Astronomical.Research.Institute.


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